Hi there, please help me with this issue. I have been checking the Web for a clear answer, but I haven't found one yet. Is verb 'to be' considered an auxiliary in 'be going to' ?

Thank you

  • 'Be going to' is a construction showing future development. Probably the best analysis is one that leaves it at that, though the whole construction comes before a main verb (assuming 'to' isn't the preposition). One could call 'be going to' an auxiliary. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 16 at 19:28
  • Yes. 1: It contracts with not. 2: It changes places with subjects to make questions. 3. It can be stressed to achieve emphatic positive polarity. 4: The following verb phrase can be omitted leaving the verb be standing in for the missing material. 5: It contracts with subjects. Definitive evidence that it is an auxiliary here. No room for debate! – Araucaria - Not here any more. Nov 16 at 19:31
  • Hi Hunter, welcome to EL&U! Where did you look for an answer on the Web? This could be useful information to add to your question. Cheers, have a wonderful day! – Conrado Nov 16 at 19:42
  • Yes: "be" is virtually always an auxiliary – BillJ Nov 17 at 8:26

This is the auxiliary "to be" that is used to indicate present continuous

This is the standard use of the present present participle with the auxiliary "to be".

I am writing.

You are asking.

He is commenting.

She is going.



John: Where are you going?

Ann: I am going to town to do some shopping. (present continuous)

Indicating the future

Of course "going to" can also be used as a way of telling the future. But the grammar is still the same and "to be" is still the exact same auxiliary verb.

John: Where will you be going on your day off? (future is indicated by "will")

Ann: I am going to go to town to do some clothes shopping. (future is indicated by "am going to", which is the present continuous of "to go to")

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